Medal of Honor Day Observed by Maine SF Veterans

Medal of Honor Day - 2024 Maine

Every year, a group of Special Forces veterans who live in Maine gather together to pay tribute to two Special Forces soldiers who were recipients of the Medal of Honor. This occasion takes place on Medal of Honor Day – which was observed this year on Monday, March 25, 2024. The Green Berets taking part in the tribute are members of the “Maine Special Forces Annex”, a small but growing ‘community’ of former and current members of Special Forces in Maine.

National Medal of Honor Day was established by Congress to “foster public appreciation and recognition of Medal of Honor Recipients.” The day was first celebrated on March 25, 1991. The date of March 25th was chosen because it was the first date (March 25, 1863) that the first Medals of Honor were presented.

Monday, March 25, 2024, was a cold day with fresh snow covering the grounds of the two memorials visited by the members of the Maine Special Forces Annex. However, the sun was shining and the feeling of camaraderie among the Green Berets gathered for the proceedings had a warming effect. The group began the day with a morning breakfast at a favorite restaurant in Augusta, Maine – a monthly event for the Annex members. Then it was off to visit the two memorial locations: first Benton, Maine and then Lincoln, Maine.

Sergeant Brian Buker was assigned to Detachment B-55, of the 5th Special Forces Group in the Republic of Vietnam. On April 5, 1970, he distinguished himself while serving as a platoon adviser of a Vietnamese mobile strike force company during an offensive mission. The “Mike Force” of Mobile Strike Force Command, was a force multiplier, working with indigenous solders selected and trained through the largely minority Civilian Irregular Defense Group (CIDG). He was wounded three times during the course of the day, the third time mortally. For his heroic actions he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. He was on his second tour in Vietnam at the time of his death at age 20. His 3 older brothers had all served in Vietnam as well. Many former 10th Special Forces Group members may recall that the swimming pool at Fort Devens, Massachusetts was named for Sergeant Buker. His memorial is in his hometown of Benton, Maine. Read more about Sergeant Brian Buker (

Master Sergeant Gary Gordon was assigned to Task Force Ranger, Special Operations Command in Somalia. He died on October 3, 1993, during the ‘Battle of Mogadishu’. He and other members of his sniper team were providing precision fires during an operation from a helicopter. During the operation by the special operations task force a Black Hawk helicopter crashed in the middle of the city at a location that could not be secured by friendly ground forces. Gordon and another Green Beret on the sniper team requested to be inserted at the site to defend the survivors of the crash – despite knowing that a growing number of the enemy were closing in on the crash site. Several members of the Maine Special Forces Annex knew Gary when they served together in the 10th SFG(A) or from the Operation Restore Hope mission. His memorial is located in Lincoln, Maine. Read more about Master Sergeant Gary Gordan. (


At each memorial location the Annex Brothers acknowledge the sacrifice of the Medal of Honor recipient and relate the events of the day for which the award is given. The informal but touching ceremony is concluded with a toast to the SF soldier being remembered – this year with both a fine brandy recently brought back from Germany and a beverage produced by a North Carolina firm with very strong ties to the Battle of Mogadishu.

The members of the Maine Special Forces Annex (Facebook) meet once a month, usually for breakfast. They observe several holidays through the year – to include Medal of Honor Day, Memorial Day, and Veterans Day. In addition, other social events such as firearms firing, cookouts, etc. take place throughout the year.

About John Friberg 201 Articles
John Friberg is the Editor and Publisher of SOF News. He is a retired Command Chief Warrant Officer (CW5 180A) with 40 years service in the U.S. Army Special Forces with active duty and reserve components.